What our Stash Represents

Us sewists accumulate beautiful fabrics filling our nest, gathering as we were designed to do.  And let’s face it, the fabric designers do an amazing job for us, and before we know it, we have amassed a huge stash of fabric.  If you quilt, you have quilting fabrics.  If you are a garment maker, you gather those fabrics.  No matter what craft you do with fabric, the result is the same.  The stash represents you, the maker, the gatherer.

Yesterday, while in my LAQS, a bunch of women all arrived at the same time.  These women all knew one another.  They were enjoying themselves, cackling, ooo-ing, and awe-ing, and touching all the loveliness the shop had to offer.  I kept hearing one of these women saying “I am NOT buying fabric, but oh my would you just look at this?  Isn’t it gorgeous!”  I did not stick around long enough to find out if she did or did not leave with anything.  But I can relate.  You are traveling with your friends, you don’t NEED fabric.  You are going into the shop to just look and to be social.  And then there are all these beautiful temptations.

Even though most of us women are all different, we are somewhat the same.  We like pretty things.  Pretty things are defined differently between us, but we all admire pretty things.

When we accumulate fabrics we gravitate towards what we deem as pretty.  And when we buy the pretty, we have good intentions for it.   We may buy a whole bunch of fabric to make a large quilt.  We get home and place the sack of good intention on the sewing table, and then see something is not so pretty in the house.  Perhaps last night’s dishes need to be washed.  Perhaps the man of the house is hungry or will be hungry within the hour and that is just not pretty.  So our dream gets interrupted briefly.  We do our chores, and then realize we are out of steam and must replentish with a night’s rest.  The next day comes and goes, and that sack of fabric is still where it was left.  The woman is the center of the whole household.  Clean faces, folding laundry, buying groceries, working 40 hours all take time away from what we want to do, verses what we need to do.  In that regard, our stash represents our fantasy.

A fantasy filled with more time that we know what do to with.  Time filled with no interruptions.  Time that allows our good intentions to flourish into quilts, shirts, suits, and any other crafty fabric project.  I think this is why Pinterest is sew popular.  Us women fantasize about what we could be doing if life was not in the way.  Pinterest is fantasy.  Women pin diamond rings (which take money which equals time), they pin beautiful hairstyles (time consuming hairstyles).  They pin beautiful fantasy kitchens, ones they could never afford, and if they could afford it would probably never cook in it anyway.  They pin groupings of pretty things all color coordinated.  Perhaps they pin everything they like that is red, whether it is a shade of lipstick, a cardinal, a sports car, an apple, or red hots candy.  Because they are on the computer and do not have those things at the moment, they are fantasizing about being in the moment.

Looking through my large accumulation of fabrics, I look and see my fantasy of time and good intentions.  I must just be bursting with good intentions!  Every drawer, box, nook, and crannie, is overflowing.  I am working it down, bit by bit.

The sheet box is now emptier than before.  These toothbrush rugs that I have been making really use up that yardage.  And I guess the type of rug I am making also is a representation of my self.  The rug represents, the amalgamation of all my sheet accumulation pieced together much like the time I use to make the rug happen.  Twenty minutes of blue here, 10 minutes of pink there, an hour of white, nothing running on time or together, but me making it work.  None of the pinks all run together, nothing segregated, everything kind of all over.  Sounds like the chaos of life.  Who knew that rug making was a good representation of life.  I have just amazed myself!


Here is yet another toothbrush rug.  A very soothing tranquility with this one.  Funny that vintage sheets which you would sleep on, can be turned into a tranquil, soft, peaceful rug.  Perhaps that is fantasy as well.

I probably need to do better in the goal dept.  When I am in a sew along, or mystery quilt, I am so driven by the competition that it gets done so fast.  But when I am not driven, there is no one driving me, but myself.  I need to start making a goal each month.  Not for finishes, but for hours.  I need to start allocating time specifically for my fantasy so it becomes reality.  Reality would be better for it.  So, how do I commit to time?  Do I say every Sunday is my day to stitch all day between chores?  Or do I let go of dirty hands and faces?  Letting those around me not be so pretty?  As you can tell I have not mastered my plan, but it is trying to unfold.  I think I need to make of list of my projects that are half done, and just pick one and proceed until it is finished, regardless of interruption.  I will be taking the dream and fantasy and running with it!  (NOTE:  Do not run with scissors).

Readers, I would love to hear about your stash, your fantasy and what it says about you.  Please leave a comment in the comment section.  I enjoy hearing from you!  And thank you for reading my blog!


7 thoughts on “What our Stash Represents

  1. I don’t have too big of a stash, but the thing I can never say no to is those absolute bargains — a quilter who is de-stashing, or a quilt guild that sells scraps for a fundraiser at their show. Something I am not good at is figuring out how many hours one project will actually take. One shoe box of scraps can be enough for three tops, and then I need to get the batting and backing, and baste it all together — that’s hours and hours before the quilting even starts. So my $6 bargain is going to have additional costs of at least $180, plus time. No wonder I can never keep up!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fun and thought provoking post this is! I agree, the items I have stashed definitely represent my dreams and fantasies of what I want to create. Most of my stash, however represents the dreams and fantasies of my mom and my MIL! They both bought yard goods and had plans for them, but neither one ever did anything with them! Now I find myself scrapping my way through numerous quilts…I simply can’t justify buying anything without a specific need because of all I’ve inherited from them!

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  3. Well said!

    Pinterest is fantasy…so true. It is fun, but I don’t spend as much time there as I use to. I’d rather spend the precious time in the sewing room, or in the garden. I am also learning to set small goals and stay focused on them.

    And to use what I have. I have been blessed!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My inventory (too large to be called a stash anymore) is the result of decades of projects dreamt of. When I learned to quilt, Alex Anderson and others preached the necessity of stash building. Me being me, I took that to heart and ran with it. Marathon ran with it. Unfortunately, I shop much faster than I sew and with school, boyfriends, work, overtime, marriage, college … I didn’t keep up.

    Now I’m older and realize I’ll never live long enough to use it all. So 2 years ago, I decided I would knuckle down and work thru as much as I could. First I purged what I knew I’d never use. It was quite a bit but barely made a dent.

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  5. Then I gathered all my Xmas fabrics and made 130 stockings for soldiers. I even used up all my red and green homespun scraps making 80 more to be submitted the following fall. I still have xmas fabric left, but nowhere near as much. I have a sudoku xmas ornament quilt top in progress, using up the stocking scraps.

    I’m currently working on my enormous blue piles. I’m currently working on a scrappy blue cubes quilt. Squares with various width borders around them, alternating dark and light. I’m cutting blue pieces for the find and porter ‘from sea to shining Dr’s quilt. And I have a special pile of blue and white fabrics to be used in a courthouse steps quilt with solid whites. I found that pattern in a very old quilt book.They should take care of about a third of my blues.

    Next is red and I have several planned. I don’t intend to do all single color quilts. This is just my strategy to quickly make as big of dents in each color as quickly as possible.

    I have surgery scheduled July 5 and my biggest fear is letting all this fabric go to waste. So wish me luck!

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